Act One Ventures Silton and Guerrero on the Diversity Rider initiative, building meaningful partnerships, and operating experience has been key to their model

Episode 0050

Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.

Today’s episode is with Michael Silton and Alejandro Guerrero of Act One Ventures, a Los-Angeles based firm that invests in pre-seed and seed-stage .

Before becoming Managing Director of Act One, Michael was Executive Director of the UCLA VC Fund for three and half years. He was also CEO & Founder of RainMaker Systems(to which he took public) and co-founder of UniDirect Corp. Prior to being General Partner at Act One, Alejandro was Volunteer Associate at UCLA Ventures from 2013-2016,  Co-Founder & CEO of Uniq Apps and Co-Founder & President of the Live Entertainment Network.

We chatted with them about their unique partnership, how they tangibly drive real diversity into cap tables, and how they navigate in today’s white-hot market.

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In this episode we discuss:

02:15 How the team got into investing

05:22 Why Michael started an independent firm, after so many years as an operator

13:10 Key lessons learned from raising their first fund

15:11 Staying positive when fundraising is going slow

22:53 The Act One Ventures investment model

26:34 Why learning from failures is a superpower

29:18 How their unique differences as a partnership drive value to founders

38:35 The Diversity Rider; What it means and why is it critical for the future of underrepresented GPs and founders.

Mentioned in this episode
Act One Ventures

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Michael and Alejandro. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.

Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency